THE first of a new range of benches for people who use wheelchairs has been installed in the town centre.

Known as the ‘B_tween Bench’ it allows people to sit either side of a person in a wheelchair.

Designed by local company Gamma Architects, it took third place at the Streets Seats international design challenge in 2018.

The B_tween Bench has been placed beside the Royal Engineer’s Monument on Main Street.

It was bought by the Department of Equality and unveiled today by Gamma Architects and Benji Borrastero who helped in its design.

A similar bench was unveiled back in March outside the ICC, paid for by the shopping centre owners.

Other benches are now being planned for other areas around Gibraltar and the Director of Gamma Architects, Ruth Massias Greenberg, is ‘thrilled’.”

“The bench embraces those who may sometimes sit on the margins of society,” she said.

“We no longer want people to be on the side but rather in our epicentres -the bench is an expression of this.

“We believe that it is not people who are disabled but rather buildings and places that are not equipped or inclusively designed to be able to accommodate them.”

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UNVEILING: The new Minister with the architects opens the benches to public use

Minister for Equality, Samantha Sacramento, MP, added: “These benches will make wheelchair users, and mobility scooter users, feel more included when sitting on the benches.

“They will serve as a physical symbol of the efforts and strides made by the people of Gibraltar to make our public areas more inclusive.

“It is also worth reminding that a wheelchair user was fully consulted during the design stages of this project.

“We really look forward to seeing more of these benches across Gibraltar.”

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